I’d like to revisit a short poem with you. Actually, it’s a well known Nursery Rhyme!
Do you remember this Nursery Rhyme?
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men - Couldn't put Humpty together again.
I’d like to suggest we see this a commentary on pride and the human condition. We all have something of Humpty Dumpty, in our pride, wanting to sit high up on the wall! … And we fall.
I remember hearing the comment of some Rock Star to seeing man on the street with a big sign saying “Jesus Saves!” His response. I DON’T NEED A SAVIOR!
That’s about as foolish a thing as a human being can say. This guy might look at our two scripture texts today, which do have a stern tone, and say: there goes the Church: always forbidding and judging and repressing people.
However, in His critique of the Pharisees and the Scribes that we have heard from Luke’s Gospel, the Lord is putting His finger on the hypocrisy that infects us all!
The first reading is from Chapter 2 of St. Paul, and his great Letter to the Romans. In the first part of this letter, Paul offers a profound reflection on the human condition.
For century after century we have been driven by pride and disordered desires, causing seemingly relentless fear and suffering for Jew and Gentile alike. Even the Law which God gave to Moses has been twisted to complicate our enslavement to sin even more. That’s us! Humpty Dumpty’s fall has been great indeed.
Later in the Letter to the Romans, Paul comes to speak for everyman. “ I do not do the good I want but the evil I do not want is what I do. Wretched man that I am. Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Then Paul proclaims, “THANKS BE TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” (Romans 7: 19.24)
We need a savior. Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior we need! In the Letter to the Romans we are offered a profoundly insightful reflection on ourselves that we need to have the courage to recognize with our hearts, so that then, asking forgiveness, we can embrace this beautiful and powerful gift of salvation that the Father wants to bestow on us.
That being said: the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a beautiful gift from God.
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About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!